Parliament will debate limiting sales of fireworks after 300,000 people sign killjoy petition demanded a clampdown on noisy bangers that can cause ‘distress’ to vulnerable people

  • Signatories argued that noisy bangers cause ‘distress’ to vulnerable people 
  • They want only displays licensed by local councils to go ahead in future 
  • However, No10 today said there was no plan to alter the rules governing sales 

MPs will debate whether to drastically limit the sale of fireworks today after more than 300,000 people signed a killjoy petition.

Signatories argued that noisy bangers cause ‘distress’ to vulnerable people and sales should be limited.

They want only displays licensed by local councils to go ahead and say the move is backed by human and animal welfare charities.   

Such limits, if introduced, would put an end to domestic back garden family firework displays for Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve, religious event like Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs, and Chinese New Year.

However, No10 today said there was no plan to alter the rules governing sales. 

Signatories argued that noisy bangers cause ‘distress’ to vulnerable people and sales should be limited.

They want only displays licensed by local councils to go ahead and say the move is backed by human and animal welfare charities.

Such limits, if introduced, would put an end to domestic back garden family firework displays for Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve, religious event like Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs, and Chinese New Year (2020 celebration pictured).

The petition, which was live last year, says the current law ‘allows for public use of fireworks 16 hours a day, every day, making it impossible for vulnerable groups to take precautions against the distress they can cause.’

It adds: ‘Limiting the sale and use of fireworks to displays only, by introducing licensing via local authorities, would help to protect vulnerable people and animals from the distress and anxiety caused by unexpected firework noise and pollution. 

‘Legislation that balances people’s desires for firework displays, and individual rights to not be distressed throughout the year, is needed now.’

Under rules governing petitions to the Government, those which attract more than 1000,000 signatures can be selected for a debate. Today’s takes place in Westminster Hall in Parliament. 

The current law is that firework sales are limited to over 18s only. They can usually only be set off between 7am and 11pm, with a midnight cut-off permitted on November 5 and 1am on New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.

There is already a ban on setting them off in the street ‘or other public places’.

The Government has already said it does not plan to further limit sales. In its response to the petition, a spokesman highlighted a Petitions Committee report that found tightened ruled would have a detrimental effect on local community groups, as well as the firework industry.

They also questioned whether a ban would be effective, warning it may lead to ‘unintended and counter-productive consequences for public safety’.

The spokesman added: ‘A ban could have the unintended consequence of pushing the market underground, driving individuals to source fireworks from illegitimate or unsafe suppliers. A ban could also prove detrimental to communities for cultural or financial reasons.’

A Downing Street spokesman added today that ‘there are no plans for us to change’ the rules.

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